By Saleem Shaikh
KARACHI, Feb 14: The Sindh government has distributed tons of wheat seeds and urea among the flood-hit farmers free of cost under its Rabi assistance plan.
However, the officials in the provincial agriculture department hope the step would help to rehabilitate the agriculture in flood-hit right bank districts and pave the way for robust Kharif sowing.
The federal Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved the plan worth Rs3.36 billion in December last year. According to the plan details, the federal government agreed to pay the half of the amount, Rs1.68 billion to the Sindh government while the rest was to be raised by the provincial government.
According to officials in the agriculture department till February 1, around 47,848 tons of wheat seeds and 14,030 tons of urea fertiliser had been distributed against requirements of 60,460 tons and 38,900 tons, respectively among the bona-fide flood-hit farmers.
The districts where the free farm inputs had been distributed are: Jacobabad, Kashmore-Kandhkot, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Shikarpur, Dadu, Thatta, Jamshoro, Larkana, Khairpur, Ghotki, Sukkur, Nausheroferoz, Shaheed Benazirabad, Matiyari and Tando Mohammad Khan, said Ashfaq Ahmed
Soomro, Additional Secretary of the agriculture department.
The department’s spokesman said that although the process of the distribution of free farm inputs was almost over, it continued in upper Sindh flood-hit areas.
“Because, the upper Sindh districts have late wheat sowing pattern, the flood-hit wheat growers can still obtain the free inputs,” he added.
The spokesman said that the provincial government was providing the fertilisers and seeds to each eligible farmer worth Rs30,000 on the basis of
area of affect land.